Four Rules....and...When Blanks Aren't.

Discussion in 'Fred's House of Pancakes' started by ETC(SS), Nov 11, 2021.

  1. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The OTHER One Percenter.....

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    Some things things are important enough that they should transcend politics.
    Gun safety should be one of them.

    Firearms are political, but they really do not care about people's feelings.
    Therefore a long LONG time ago the 4 Rules of Firearm Safety were developed.

    You get a bonus rule since there are actually five, but...who is counting?
    [​IMG]

    These rules are so simple and so effective that you mostly have to break MORE THAN ONE OF THEM to accidently hurt somebody with a firearm.


    Also, there are a lot of speculations, guesses, and misinformation concerning BLANKS commonly used in firearms.
    We used them a lot in the military, and as anal as those folks tend to be about gun safety, the people in the head-shed REALLY get pucker butts when blanks are distributed, for all of the obvious reasons.

    FWIW, Hollywood actually has a very respectable record for firearms safety over the last 100+ years and many thousands of films involving guns.
    Maybe even better than the military.

    ------
    So....
    BLANKS.

    Below is a pretty good and nearly apolitical...ah..."primer" on the subject.

     
    #1 ETC(SS), Nov 11, 2021
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2021
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  2. Georgina Rudkus

    Georgina Rudkus Senior Member

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    Someone should have told John Eric Hexum.
     
  3. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    The political irony is thick.

    AB wants to require a police officer on set to handle or supervise all firearms. Based on the very wide variations I've seen among beat officers -- including walking into the concession area next to the officer line of a match, and suddenly finding myself looking straight down the barrel of a revolver held up by an officer wearing a Long Beach PD cap, prompting me to scurry back to the civilian / Olympian zone -- I would reject that as insufficient. Require something closer to a department's certified firearms instructors or range safety officers.

    There are plenty of experts around, so actual LEO status needn't be part of the requirement. The film industry already has a bunch of experienced choices.

    Another requirement I'd suggest: require all Directors, Assistant Directors, and actors who will touch or be close to a firearm, to pass a basic firearms safety course. E.g. a state hunter safety course (such as typically loaded with 12 year old hunters fulfilling license prerequisites), or an NRA basic safety course, or equivalent. Such training appears very blatantly lacking, or ignored, in the recent tragedy.

    Cameras on the business end of a muzzle should be run by remote control.

    "One in a trillion chance"? What absolute effing bovine excrement. On a logarithmic scale, with the 'skills' displayed by that staff, it was much closer to Russian Roulette. Especially after several previous unintended discharges and other red flags on the set.

    I also must ask: why are certain celebrities who are unfriendly to one amendment, so addicted to exercising another amendment to portray and glorify gun violence for profit? If film industry portrayals can mostly remove smoking, encourage use of seatbelts, discourage drunk driving, and encourage numerous other positive behaviors, then it seems they could also cut way back on their extremely high volume of gun abuse and violence. Copycatting is real, so lead by example.

    But they don't. They are addicted to it. Follow the money.
     
    #3 fuzzy1, Nov 12, 2021
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2021
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  4. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The OTHER One Percenter.....

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    One thing that the military, LEOs, and filmmakers all have in common is that they all use weapons on the job, and for the most part all three adhere to firearms safety standards.
    When I was deployed and I didn’t have a submarine wrapped around me I either issued or was issued a weapon (usually 2) every day.
    Failure to follow strict protocols would have resulted, at the very least, in harsh rebukes, peer pressure, etc.

    Failure to follow one of the four rules listed above would have probably lead to my being relieved of my weapons, formal discipline , and disqualification.
    An “ND” or Negligent Discharge would have DEFINITELY led to disqualification and formal punishment. On my last deployment the Bosses policy was to have the offender on the next plane back to the states.
    An ND with injury would have resulted in all of the above AND the probability of some CNN love, a “less than honorable” discharge, loss of rank, possible jail time, retirement impacts, etc.

    I cannot speak for folks in the film biz, but let’s just say that where money is spent for qualified armorers and where rules are followed, bad stuff generally does not happen.
    In fact?
    It almost NEVER happens.
    Three NDs resulting in death are three too many, but hey…..$$$

    Lastly,
    I’m agnostic about firearms in film.
    Their business.
    Their deal.

    However (comma!) the idea that you NEED firearms on a movie set, functioning or otherwise is completely bizarre, given the fact that nearly EVERYTHING about firearms as portrayed by filmmakers is COMPLETELY wrong.
    It doesn’t look the same. Gunfire in real life doesn’t sound anything remotely similar, real weapons do not have ‘infinity magazines’ and down range effects are grossly exaggerated.

    So….
    Why use the real thing at all?
    Again….probably $$
     
    #4 ETC(SS), Nov 12, 2021
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2021
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  5. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    Once upon a time, there were 10 basic gun safety rules - such that that one year later (see date stamped photo) no unintended targets were harmed.

    20191221_104821-1.jpg

    Even so, many folks that have memorized gun safety rules still create tragedy and ought to have never been allowed to touch deadly weapons.
    Our daughter won't let her ten-year-old son mess with his boy scout pocket knife unless she is supervising. As John love love LOVES to say, know your audience.
    .
     
  6. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    My dad got his training in the rules from dot . mil, and he's the one who trained me, and he knew them well, and trained me well.

    All the same, the old house (burned in 1989, so you won't find the evidence now) had a small round hole in the family room ceiling that he had put there in one moment of inattention (no injuries involved).

    There was one similar hole in the same ceiling that mom put there on one occasion, making them even. (Also no injuries.)

    It has been my own experience that the times I mess up the most (in whatever kind of work I might be doing) are the moments where I'm starting to feel like I've really got it down, and my thinking starts to multitask a little.

    Luckily for me, most of the kinds of work I do don't make holes in things. (Or make the holes more slowly. With a drill, at least you can say "wait! I don't want a hole in this" and stop drilling.)
     
  7. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The OTHER One Percenter.....

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    Like I said...some things should transcend politics.

    Negligent discharges happen.
    I've done it myself, albeit never on the job.
    I pointed a firearm downrange once to dry-fire it and...... BOOM!
    One time I even loaded 10mm rounds into a 45ACP mag and used the mag in my Colt Combat Commander.
    I even hit the target - although I had to send the gun back to the mother ship for a checkup....and I got (and get) ragged about it.

    The thing is?
    Shooters are like motorcycle riders.
    If you meet one who had never had an accident, stay away from them because they're either lying or they're not experienced enough to have made a mistake.

    That's why smart M/C riders dress the way that they do.
    ALL the time!

    THAT'S why responsible owners always follow the four firearms rules.

    Like 'em or loath 'em....there are a LOT more guns in the USA than there are cars, almost twice as many in fact, and yet a very small fraction of the time and effort that is spent on training drivers in America are devoted to basic firearms safety.
    Think about that for a second.
    Drivers in the US are just about the least educated, and MOST dangerous (by far!) on the planet, and we accept a butcher's bill for automobiles that isn't even close to firearms deaths.

    It's pretty simple, really.
    Look at it like.....say.....sex and drugs.

    You can try 'abstinence' or 'just say no'
    Or you can try to educate.
    It's really very apolitical if you think about it.

    Of the three known Hollywood firearms deaths over the last 100 years, which is a darned good record btw.... at least two of them involved an utter lack of knowledge about firearms and/or completely reckless behavior by the person holding the gun.
    The Lee shooting is a little different because it did not involve overtly foolish behavior, but rather it was like an airliner crash, where multiple individual failures stacked upon each other to create a fatality.

    AND yet...
    All three incidents involved participants that failed to follow more than one of the 4 rules.
     
    #7 ETC(SS), Nov 12, 2021
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2021
  8. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    It's been a while now since I was reading about the most recent Hollywood incident, but I remember coming away with the sense that it was largely reckless behavior by crew members responsible for providing the gun to the person holding it.

    I suppose in an ideal world you would also want the actors to check the chamber personally, even after the prop master or armorer has told them "COLD GUN".

    I wonder if that's in the usual on-set rules?

    I also wonder how far that could practically go ... does the actor extract the cartridge to make sure it looks like a blank?
     
  9. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The OTHER One Percenter.....

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    Every time I've EVER been issued a weapon on the job, the person handing it to me verified that it was 'clear and safe' and where practical the action was open.

    Once accepting the weapon, had I ever failed to DUPLICATE those measures, I would have been relieved of the weapon and re-trained.
    In 2/3 of ALL known Hollywood incidents, the armorer failed, but the ultimate responsibility, even in America, lies with the person who is attached to the finger that squeezed the trigger.

    As far as the most recent event?
    We will probably never see the movie, and so we will never know for sure, but I'm curious as to how a 40-year-old female cinematographer would have been featured in in a period American Western.

    Otherwise?
    There's no reason for her to have had a revolver pointed at her, and the result was one death and multiple injuries.
     
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  10. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    At least the little holes were in the ceiling, not at chest or head level in a wall. Failures on some procedures were covered (rescued) by adherence to others. It illustrates the reason for having multiple overlapping rules. Redundancy. One or two failures did not cascade into a tragedy.

    The same redundancy concept was a necessary component for getting commercial aviation up to its current safety level. The overall system failure rate is much lower than the individual component failure rate.

    I have often felt reason to disassemble a certain piece for storage or transport. A necessary step for disassembly is to dry-fire it. Despite conscientiously going through the checklist, there is always a gnawing feeling that there may eventually be a little hole in the floor to the crawl space and a chip in the foundation. But better there than in a neighbor's wall.
    It has long been clear to me that I don't multitask as well as other people. Or at least, not as well as they think they do for themselves, and frequently try to demand of me.
     
    #10 fuzzy1, Nov 12, 2021
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2021
  11. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    In cases of this sort, I'm not a believer in loading all post-incident responsibility onto a single person. Just as the safety rules list has multiple overlapping items for redundancy, final responsibility for an incident can be assigned to potentially everyone in the chain of custody, and in the production's supervisory chain of command for safety. Each of them had the power to prevent the incident. It happened because all of them failed.

    Special woes to anyone occupying multiple positions in those chains.

    Growing up in one of the states among the highest in firearms ownership (and consistently low in gun crimes), my school district provided a gun- and hunter-safety training day to all 7th graders. It included a field trip to the local National Guard Armory for live fire practice, the only time I've ever fired .22 shorts.

    Considering all the driver and traffic safety education, alcohol safety awareness, drug safety, and sex education now provided by our schools, I just can't imagine why basic gun safety (live fire practice not necessary) isn't also universally included. Except for partisan politics, the very same reason my school had no meaningful sex education at that time. That district now has both gun and sex education. But over here, in an opposite partisan polarity zone, all the schools have only the later.
     
    #11 fuzzy1, Nov 12, 2021
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  12. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    gun safety rules are one thing, and laws are another. hollywood already has the rules, but they are voluntary. ignore at your own risk, and the risk of others.
    laws provide the threat of punishmentfor criminal behavior.rules provide for negligence.
    either way, people will find a way around them, purposefully or accidentally.

    this case has a long way to go, and the ending will be interesting.

    i read yesterday that there are so many movies being made in new mexico, that there aren't any trained armorers available.
    i'm on the side of no real guns being allowed. do the best you can with cgi, people aren't going to stop watching movies until something better comes along.
     
  13. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    My weapon requires a dry fire in order to remove the slide for cleaning. I have that same nervous feeling even though I know I just removed the magazine and cleared the chamber. And it even has a little cutout so you can see if there's a round in the chamber without moving the slide. I still point it where it won't damage anything important and won't ricochet back at me.

    As for blame in the Rust incident, there's plenty to go around. I'd 100% blame the people supposedly plinking with the props. And 100% blame each person who handled the weapon. And to top it off, the producers and directors who did not get the proper training, see that each person involved had it, and that the rules were followed without exception -- 100% on each of them. And Baldwin himself should have insisted on being trained and then on following proper safety protocols. Because, if any single one in that chain would have done things properly, there would not have been a negligent discharge.

    It ain't complicated. But, as they learned, it is important.
     
  14. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    I'm more accustomed to removing the magazine, then drawing the action back to eject a chambered round or to clearly see that there isn't one, then letting it down easy with the trigger pulled. Have I been doing it wrong? Different piece, different construction maybe.
     
  15. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    Different design. That works on another piece that I don't carry, but just now verified that it doesn't work on my usual piece.
     
  16. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The OTHER One Percenter.....

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    We used to do it that way with the M9 and the usual long guns.
    As a matter of fact, back in the day, one of the FEATURES of the M9 Beretta is that you almost never had to put your finger inside the trigger guard unless you were actually firing the weapon or performing a function check.

    However (Comma!) the last time we were deployed was to an Army camp with 5,000 soldiers and a Commanding General, while we were 250 squids and a Captain.
    We did it the Army way, which is to check the weapon clear using a posted, written procedure and then dry fire the weapon into a clearing barrel, which over there was LITERALLY a tilted barrel filled with sand.
    Of course.....being squids...we used OUR procedure FIRST and then used the Army's.

    Their theory was that you would rather have an ND in a clearing barrel than in a crowded dining facility, and it makes lots of sense.
    Unfortunately....some of our gun gang didn't like being told to do it the Army way and I was called to the front gate more than once when one of my sailors tried to be sea-lawyers about dry-firing the weapon.....something we almost NEVER did.

    I usually told their soldiers not to let my sailor aboard until the miscreant figured out who was in charge at the gate, but once I took possession of an M-9, cleared the weapon, and dry-fired it into the barrel repeatedly, and told the sailor come and see me so that we could discuss the situation whenever he wanted his (MY!) weapon back.

    The Army probably had dozens of NDs while we were there (11 months) and our squadron had zero....BUT....differing procedures and blue-green problems notwithstanding we had NO injuries other than bruised egos.

    The point is that THEIR armorers and OUR armorers followed the rules.
    ALWAYS.
    .....even when they fussed about their rules being different than our rules.

    Bad stuff usually happens to people who are too smart, too experienced, or too important to be told what to do.
     
  17. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    My Ruger LC9S Pro is striker fired, so no hammer to let down easily. It's remove the magazine, rack the slide to clear the chamber. Verify the empty chamber. Dry fire to get the firing mechanism out of the way of the slide removal. Snap the cover out of the way of the retaining pin and push out the pin. Then pull the slide off the rails and continue disassembly.
     
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  18. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    The stuff I was accustomed to also had no (outside visible) hammer; the (internal) one was cocked by the action moving backward (manually the first time, or upon firing thereafter). So manually drawing the action backward to clear the chamber, then holding the trigger while letting it ease forward again, eased the internal hammer at the same time.

    I may just have a sort of irrational dislike of dry firing. (Come to think of it, I remember being especially strongly admonished never to dry "fire" a bow.)
     
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  19. vvillovv

    vvillovv Senior Member

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    I haven't had a weapon of any kind (except at the plate, switch hitting, during a baseball game) :rolleyes: in a long long time. So any lessons in firearm safety have long since expired. When I was invited to target practice, I could usually get inside the target area from prone. not so much standing.
     
  20. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    I'm pretty sure the safety lessons have stayed with me, though if it came to a test, my marksmanship would be seen to have fallen off some, I'm sure.
     
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